In an time when social clubs were all the rage, companies and other entities had bands to support the well-being of their employees. Many fire departments, big and small, had bands, and community bands, indicative of the city or town, were also in vogue. Modern American community bands were rooted in European tradition. Immigrants, like the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin brought the band tradition with them to the US.
Community bands experienced a great dying out after the end of World War I, victims of the automobile, new mass media, and a large cultural shift. This actually led to a rise in school music programs. The death of community bands left instrument manufacturers without a market for their product, so they marketed heavily to schools.